Best Practice on Full/Incremental Backup for long-term Archiving


I’d like to check how should Full vs Incremental file backup be configured when looking to implement Archiving.

The Archive result I’m trying to reach is as following

  • 7x Daily Backups
  • 3x Weekly Backups
  • 11x Monthly Backups
  • 5x Yearly Backups

The above setup will allow to restore files from a daily backup for a week, from a weekly backup for a month, from a monthly backup for a year and from an annual backup for 6 years.

What would be the recommended number of Full / Incremental Backups for the above?

Run incremental file backups at least every 24h (set incremental file backup interval to at least 24h). Then set Minimal number of incremental file backups to at least 7. That covers the 7x daily backups.

For the rest go to the archiving tab and Archive every week, month, and year. Seems you want to keep weekly backups for about a month, the monthly backups for a year and the yearly backups for 5 years.

What to do about fulls is up to you. If you are running Internet clients they are disabled by default. You can also set the minimum amount of full file backups to zero in this case.

Is there ever a need to do a full backup after the first one is done other than image fulls?

For example with the linux client one could modify a file, then reset the last modified time to the one before modification. Only a full backup will catch that.

On Windows it uses the update sequence number (USN) instead of the last modified time, so this shouldn’t occur there, but at the very least you could mount the file system in another OS and modify it there and the client won’t catch the changes without a full file backup.

Thank you for the replies - it is really, really helpful.

Uroni, you’re correct, I look to have 7 daily backups, then a weekly backup for the rest of that month (hence 3 weeks, not 4), then monthly for that year (11 months, not 12), and then 5 more years, making 6 years in total with focus on recent data.

Any recommendations for the Full backups at all? - Storage & traffic are not an issue, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

These indeed will be backed-up via internet, and all are Windows systems, versions 7 or 10 and a mix of Home / Pro.

Thank you one more time.

EDIT: in most cases, the files being backed-up by URBackup will be Dropbox / OneDrive / Google Cloud folders - is there anything I need to keep in mind because of that? Maybe go with Full daily backups, rather than Incremental…?